Science and Tech
Last week I was surfing my Tech sites when I ran across an article celebrating the demise of Windows 7 OEM pre-installation packages which HP and Dell (among others) buy in bulk and re-sell at a reasonable price to roll-your-own and custom builders.
The author’s expressed hope was that this would finally force consumers to adopt the “clearly superior in every way” Windows 8 OS and help out “poor beleaguered” Microsoft who shouldn’t be forced to support antiquated and obsolete systems,
Well, you know me. There were no replies yet and I wanted to show my appreciation of the writer’s effort, so I posted what I considered a rather mild response
Windows 8 (and 8.1 for that matter) is a failure on par with Vista, not because it’s inherently unstable the way Vista is, but because it’s useless in a business environment which is Microsoft’s meat and potatoes and they should never forget it.
Why should I waste a month or two to train all my users a new interface? Why should I switch to expensive touch screens that get greasy and smeary instantly, often require reconfiguring office space, fail incessantly, and are expensive to purchase and replace?
Windows 9 may have a chance if they find a easy way to configure for a simple (but fully featured) NT style desktop where workers see their document drafts and templates and the approved productivity applications that they require frequently and a Start Menu for those less used…
And that’s it!
Some applications benefit from touch screens (Point of Sale), some do not (document creation and processing, arguably spreadsheets). Tablets and phones are field toy substitutes useful for enterprise communication and navigation (phone) and client presentations (tablets). Otherwise they are huge black holes of productivity where your employees play games and update their personal social media (phones), and watch streaming video (tablets).
I will admit the Surface has the right idea with a real, though inferior, keyboard.
If Microsoft does not address those concerns I will continue to purchase Windows 7 as long as I can find an available copy and when I do switch my enterprise to a different Operating System it will be to Linux which provides my IT department with the necessary tools for easy installation, upgrade, maintenance, and control; and my workers with a consistent interface that requires minimal training to be productive.
Business computers need to be easy to use, not a colossal waste of time (which is money) and money (which is also money).
Alas, once a troll always a troll. To their credit the dialog was more polite (if less creative) than I have been trained to expect from my involvement with political sites. I wasn’t called a no-good Naderite more materially responsible for the demise of the Republic than corporately corrupt, moronically myopic, lesser evil legislators, but the attacks seemed faint-hearted and lacking in the glittering venom that the shills, toadies, and bullies bring. Oh, for a foe worthy of my rapier wit.
And of course 2 days later Microsoft announces Windows 10 which validates my every criticism. I’m sure they will apologize profusely.
Windows 10 is ‘Windows for the masses’
Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, ZDNet
October 7, 2014 — 12:48 GMT (05:48 PDT)
Let’s get one thing straight. I’m convinced that the purpose of this Technical Preview is to convince all those Windows 7 enterprise users that Windows 10 puts behind it all that Windows 8 nonsense. Windows 8 put far too much focus on features that businesses saw at best as irrelevant because most of their PCs don’t have touch, and at worse expensive because it meant lots of costly retraining, downtime, and inefficiencies.
Mission accomplished. Windows 10 proves that Microsoft is brave enough to admit that the Windows 8 experiment was a failure and that it’s now time to get back to the serious business of building a platform that people want, not one that they are told they need.
Now I’m certain that there are going to be people who are distressed by Microsoft’s decision to resurrect the Start Menu and put it and the Windows Desktop back in the limelight. I don’t blame them. They’ve put a lot of effort into morphing their workflows to fit in around Windows 8, and then changed that again once to accommodate changes bought about by Windows 8.1. Some even went as far as evangelizing the changes, claiming that they represented the future, and that everyone is just going to have to get used to it.
Yeah, about that…
The important thing to appreciate about Windows 10 is that Microsoft isn’t building an operating system specifically for you or me. Microsoft is building it to cater for the billion or so people out there using PCs that aren’t touch-enabled. These are the people who have invested billions and billions of worker-days in creating effective workflows that utilize the Windows paradigms they have come to know (and perhaps love), and for Microsoft to come along and make drastic fundamental changes to this is a risky maneuver.
Windows 10 is a clear signal to all the uneasy enterprise customers that those crazy days are over. Windows 10 isn’t for those people who want to live on the cutting edge. Windows 10 is Windows for the masses.
Windows 8 was undoubtedly a brave move. I think Microsoft thought that if it made Windows a touch-first platform, it would revive flagging PC sales by fostering new PC form factors. But it didn’t work. Partly because people are getting out of the habit of buying new PCs every few years, partly because Windows 8 user interface was an incoherent muddle, and partly because Microsoft and the OEMs didn’t do a good job of communicating the benefits of the new platform.
And now it’s equally brave that Microsoft is moving on.
The law that entropy always increases holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature. If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell’s equations – then so much the worse for Maxwell’s equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observation – well, these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation.
–Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World (1927)
Science Oriented Video!
Science News and Blogs
- Microsoft unveils Windows 10: ten things to know, The Guardian
- Cave paintings change ideas about the origin of art, BBC
- 35,000 year-old Indonesian cave paintings suggest art came out of Africa, The Guardian
- Giant Blast of X-Rays Traced to Dead Star, National Geographic
- When sea levels rise, high tides will spill into communities far more often, study says, Washington Post
- Super-microscope earns trio Nobel chemistry prize, AFP
- American and 2 Japanese Physicists Share Nobel for Work on LED Lights, The New York Times
- Nobel Prize in Medicine Is Awarded to Three Who Discovered Brain’s ‘Inner GPS’, The New York Times
- Our Understanding of Giraffes Does Not Measure Up, The New York Times
- Meet the man who killed Pluto, Al Jazeera
- Galaxy’s guardians make the case: upgrade Pluto back to planet-size!, The Guardian
- Moral Panics Of 1878: NY Times Warns People About The Evils Of Thomas Edison’s Aerophone, TechDirt
- When It Comes to Sleep, Timing Is Everything, The New York Times
- Major study of teenage sleep patterns aims to assess impact on learning, The Guardian
- Facebook Developing App That Allows Anonymity, The New York Times
- Sharper Image From 4K TVs Is a Gimmick Worth Having, The New York Times
- A Gulf in Ocean Knowledge, The New York Times
- ‘Siri, stop distracting me’: controlling smartphones while driving is dangerous, study finds, The Guardian
- Cancer tumours destroyed by berry found in Queensland rainforest, The Guardian
- Um or er: which do you, um, use more in, er, conversation?, The Guardian
- In the Age of Extinction, which species can we least afford to lose?, The Guardian
- Violence of volcanoes is helping scientists monitor Earth’s sensitive side, The Guardian
- Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor review – a glorious knockout punch , The Guardian
- If we want more women in tech, we need to sweat the small stuff, The Guardian
The Obligatories, News, and Blogs below.